Thursday, September 30, 2010

Second Mitten Syndrome

Second Mitten Syndrome is much like Second Sock Syndrome, only less eclectic and fun. When you have second sock syndrome you can still get away with wearing mismatched socks. It's all the rage...or at least it was a year or two ago. You could even get see through shoes to show off your funky sockness. But, second mitten syndrome is less charming. You don't look fun and look like some lamo who lost their mitten and should really have a string sewn on so you don't do that again!

The second mitten is much less exciting to make, cuz you've been there, done that. Just like the second sock. Anything you have to make two of.....well, pretty much drains all joy out of me.

So why do I do it? A) It's a sickness. B) It's a compulsion. C) There is a satisfaction derived from completing something that you dread doing. Almost like feeling that sense of inner accomplishment for eating that yogurt...when you really wanted a donut. And then you go back and eat the donut anyway cuz the yogurt really wasn't satisfying...but who's counting? You get 'points' for eating something healthy.

Has anyone ever added up their 'points'? If so, what do you get to use your 'points' for? That's a brain twister there.

Gloves I finished a week or so ago. I think I actually love making gloves way more than mittens. Don't know why. Maybe it's the fact that I feel like a freaking knitting goddess when they are done. They fit, they are functional AND they are pretty. :)
My macho, macho man was too cool for knitted gloves when I showed him the pattern I intended to make. "Nah...I don't need any gloves" he said. After I got the first one done, all of a sudden.."Yeah, these are pretty cool. I could use a black pair." Oh can you, now? And daughter pipes up..."Ooooo, Mom, I want these.....the ones with 1800 color changes and 50,000 ends that you'll have to weave in when you're done! Those are sweet!" *You really don't care if I ever work on another project, do you?*
So, onward, I knit. Loving and hating it all at the same time. While I know my family will "appreciate" the gloves. They will never "appreciate" what goes into them. I make it look way too easy. Sort of like watching my husband play any sport with a ball involved. How does anyone play that good all the time?? Or watching my daughter powerlift. How does anyone get that strong?? Or listening to my son tell me his latest ideas for books he wants to write. Where does he come up with this stuff???
I guess we all have our own gifts. World would be pretty boring if we were all the same, huh?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mittens for the Finished Hat

I started the mittens that will go with the hat. I do have a pattern for the mittens. It comes out of the Patons: Next Steps Seven, Mittens & Gloves book. It's the basic 4 needle mitten. I just added a few stripes of color to have it coordinate with the hat. Working on the second mitten now.

I'm sort of loving the way the two skeins I bought are pooling their colors so differently. The hat and top portion of the finished mitten are the
same skein. Bottom of mitten and the next mitten are the other ball. If I were going to be super anal about it, the differences would be driving me batty about now. But, seeing as how I'm the super laid back broad that I am, I am looking at this as sort of fun. I like the differences. I mean, that is why I bought hand-dyed, right?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finished Hat

We'll start off with a scary self portrait.
This is me, not at my best, but me all the same.

The hat is a bit short. Of course, this is the first time I've made a hat without a pattern to follow. I'm sure the next one will be better.

I figured I would give taking a picture of myself a try. I mean, my daughter takes about 50 pictures of herself a how hard could it be, right? It's a lot harder than it looks. That is, if you want it straight.

Here we have the back of the hat.

I love the way that it turned out. I love the colors together. I even love the way the cables turned out. They were meant to be subtle and they certainly are that.

I don't know that I'm the neatest knitter. I can see lots of chunkiness in my decreases, etc. Of course, that may be the weight of the yarn. The mystery wool from Bayfield is chunky and rough, but boy is it warm.

Currently working on mittens to match.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hat Turned Swatch

I finally came out of my funk this week and decided I was going to try my hand at working with the hand-dyed mystery wool I picked up in Bayfield at the beginning of the month.

I broke out the size 6 bamboo dpn's (they are the only ones that I own that have 5 to a pkg) and cast on 80 stitches, 20 per needle. I thought...gads...80 stitches should be plenty for an adult size hat. Um, no. Try, small child.

As I knit right along I was falling in love with it. I even got all crazy and threw in a few segments of leftover llama/mix/handspun that I had picked up at a different craft fair about 4 years ago. I even made some baby cables in there. Ya know, just me being all awesome and stuff and showing off my crazy knitting skills. *rolling eyes* I don't have crazy knitting skills, folks. You have no idea how I struggle through cables. I love, love, love the way they look...I do not love, love, love making them. I either have the wrong size cable needle, hence the 'slipping' that occurs frequently causing me to "Ahhh!! Nobody MOVE! I dropped a needle!!"....(my family loves it) OR I just suck at making cables and end up making them out to be WAY harder than they need to be. Either way, it's a handicap for me.

So anywho, I noticed that the hat just did not seem to be of adult proportions right about the beginning of the gray llama yarn. But, I thought to myself, "oh I'll just make this a child's cap", until I got done with the gray and went a little on the green and wanted to start decreasing. My inner knitter cried out, "NO!! This is all wrong! This is supposed to be an adult hat!" I could not continue. I would be living a lie. Lord knows I have more than enough yarn to make this adult hat. (how many stitches???) This little hat became a practice swatch that will be taken apart.

Frogging commenced and I have neat little balls of yarn waiting to be re-knit into my happy little wool hat. I'm making it up as I go, so who knows what it's gonna look like..??

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fun & Funky Witch Costume-AG Dolls Pattern

I was finally able to find my pictures!!
So without further ado...The Fun & Funky Witch Costume for AG Dolls!!

Fun & Funky Witch Costume Pattern for AG Dolls
by Elizabeth Mareno 2010
**Corrections in RED**

Items Needed:
Caron Simply Soft Black
Small amts- Lime Grn, Purple & Orange
F hook, Lg Eye Yarn Needle for finishing.
18 sc/20 rows = 4"x4" square using Caron SS

ch 50- join to make a ring- don't twist.
Row 1- ch1, sc in sm sp as join and each ch around. sl st to first sc. (50)
Row 2-10- ch1, sc in each sc, join. (50)
Row 11-15- ch1, turn, sc in each sc.
Left Back: (RS)
Row 16-24- ch1, turn, sc in 10
Row 25- ch1, turn, sc in 5, lv rem st undone.
Row 26-27- ch1, turn, sc in 5. Cut
Right Back: (RS) sk 30 from left back. reattach with black in next sc.
Row 16- ch1, sc in sm sp as join and next 9 sc.
Row 17-24- ch1, turn, sc in each sc.
Row 25- do not ch1, turn, sl st in 6sc, ch1, sc in sm st and next 4 sc. (5)
Row 26-27- Ch1, turn, sc in 5. Cut.
Front: (RS) from left back, sk 7, reattach w/sl st.
Row 16- ch1, sc in sm sp and next 15sc. (16)
Row 17-19- ch1, turn, sc in each.
**Left Front
Row 20- ch1, turn, sc in 8.
Row 21- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in rem sc (7)
Row 22- ch1, turn, sc in 5, sc dec (6)
Row 23- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in 4 (5)
Row 24- ch1, turn, sc in each.
Row 25-27- ch1, turn, sc in each. Cut.
**Right Front-(RS) reattach w/ sl st to 1st open sc,
Row 20- ch1, sc in sm sp and next 7 (8)
Row 21- ch1, turn, sc in 6, sc dec. (7)
Row 22- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in 5 (6)
Row 23- ch1, turn, sc in 4, sc dec (5)
Row 24-27- ch1, turn, sc in each. Cut

**Sew shoulder seams with right sides together.

Skirt: (RS) working on opposite side of starting chain, attach with black to sc at back seam.
Row 1- ch1, sc in sm st and each ch around. join. (50)
Row 2- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in next 4sc, (2hdc in next, hdc in 4) around, join to ch2. (60)
Row 3- ch2, hdc around.
Row 4- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in 4, (2hdc in next, hdc in 4) around (72)
Row 5- ch2, hdc around. Cut off.
Row 6- Change to Orange, attach orange in sm st as join, ch1, sc in join and each sc around. (72)
Cut off.
Row 7- Change to black, attach orange in sm sp as join, ch2, hdc in join, hdc in 5 (2hdc in next, hdc in 5) around. Join. (84)
Row 8- 9- ch2, hdc in each hdc. join.
Row 10- Change to Green. Repeat row 6 (84)
Row 11-13- Change to black, ch2, hdc in each.
Row 14- Change to Purple, repeat row 6 . Cut off, weave in ends.

Sleeves: with black, join to round 15 of bodice.
Row 1- ch2, hdc in each sc and row end. (31)
Row 2- ch2, hdc in each, cut.
Row 3- Change to Orange, ch1, sc in each. Cut.
Row 4- Change to black, ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in 4, (2hdc in next, hdc in 4)5times, hdc in last hdc. (37)
Row 5- ch2, hdc in each.
Row 6- Change to Green, ch1, sc in each.
Row 7- Change to Black, ch2, hdc around. (37)
Row 8- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in next 2, (2hdc, hdc in next 2) around, hdc in last hdc. Cut
Row 9- Change to Purple, ch1, sc around. Cut.

**Back trim- with black, join with sl st to bottom of back opening, sc in each row end up to corner. Cut. Join with sl st to opposite corner, ch1, sc in join and each row end to bottom of back.Finish.
**With Green- ch30, attach with sl st to back trim row end, ch1, sc in sm sp and each sc across to inner corner, sc dec, sc across row ends of shoulder to front "V", sc up other side to opp. inner corner, sc dec, sc across rem sc and back trim row end. ch31, Cut.

Collar: Optional
Row 1- ch7, sc in 2nd ch and each sc (6)
Row 2- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in 2, sc dec (4)
Row 3- ch1, turn, sc in each.
Row 4- ch1, turn, sc dec twice (2)
Row 5- ch1, turn, sc
Row 6- ch1, turn, sc dec once.
Row 7- turn on edge, sc in each row end, 3 sc in each corner.
**Sew to neckline on ch7 edge, can tack tip down or leave free.

Belt: Optional
Row 1- With Green- ch80, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each, 3sc in last ch, working on opp side of ch, sc in each ch. (159)
Row 2- ch1, turn, sc in 78, 2sc in next 3sc, sc in 78sc. (162)
Row 3- ch1, turn, sc in 78, 2sc in next 2sc, 3sc in 2sc, 2sc in next 2sc, sc in 78. Cut leaving a long end for sewing buckle on.

ch25, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next, 2sc in next, (sc in 2, 2sc) across, sc in last.
Put RS to RS on end and sc together, ch7, sl st to sc on opp side of circle. Finish off.
**Attach to belt by weaving onto flat end of belt, fold belt end over and sew in

Hat: Starting at top with black
Row 1- ch2, 5sc in 2nd ch, do not join.
Row 2- sc in each sc
Row 3- (sc in 1, 2sc) twice, sc in last (7)
Row 4-5- sc in each
Row 6- (2sc in 1, 1sc in 1) around, sc in last(10)
Row 7- sc in each
Row 8- (sc in 2, 2sc) around , sc in last(13)
Row 9- sc in each
Row 10- (sc in 1, 2sc) around, sc in last (19)
Row 11- sc in each
Row 12- repeat row 10 (28)
Row 13- sc in each, join and cut.
Row 14- Change to Orange, after attaching, repeat row 10, join and cut. (42)
Row 15- Change to Black, after attach, sc in each, join.
Row 16-17- ch1, sc around, join.
Row 18- Change to gree, after attach, ch1, (sc in 5, 2sc in next) 7 times (49)
Row 19- Change to Black, after attach, ch1, sc in each. (49)
Row 20- ch1, (sc in 6, 2sc) around. (56)
Row 21- ch1, sc (56)
Row 22- Change to Purple, after attach, ch1, sc in each (56) join.
Row 23- ch1, FLO (sc, 2sc) around (84)
Row 24- ch1,both loops (sc in 5, 2sc) around.(98)
Row 25- ch1,( sc in 31, 2sc in next) 3 times, sc in last 2, join (101) Cut and weave ends.

With green, ch2, 6 sc in 2nd ch. Join. Cut leaving long end. Sew to hat and use long end to embroider legs.

Trick or Treat/Evening Bag: with black, ch7
Row 1- 3sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 4 ch, 3 sc in last ch. working on opp side of ch, sc in next 4 ch, join with 1st sc.
Row 2- ch1, 3sc in join, 1sc in next, 3 sc in next, sc in next 4, (3sc, 1sc, 3sc) in next 3 sc, sc in last 4, join.
Row 3- ch1, sc in join, 3sc in next, sc in 3, 3 sc in next, sc in 6, (3sc, sc in 3, 3 sc) sc in last 6, join.
Row 4- ch1, BLO, sc in join and each sc around. join.
Row 5- ch1, both loops, sc in each.
Row 6-11- ch1, sc in each, join, cut
Row 12- Change to Green, ch1, sc in sm sp as join, sc in each sc around. cut and weave in ends.
On Sides- attach with green and sl st on one end, ch14, sk 8sc, sl st in next, sl st in 7sc, ch14, sk 8sc, sl st in next. (handles made)

Low Gluten-Dairy Free Waffles- Recipe

Hello all you wonderful people! I figured its time for a recipe. I haven't posted one in just forever! This time it is WAFFLES!! Yum, every Saturday morning should be filled up with waffles! I call these low-gluten because they are made with Spelt, which can usually be consumed by people who have an irritation to traditional wheat products. Not celiac's! They still need to avoid, because Spelt is part of the wheat family and does contain a certain amount of gluten. Go here to read up on Spelt to see if it will work for you. I am not celiac, but I do not tolerate wheat well. You should be able to find it at any well-stocked health food store.
Now to the recipe.
This recipe is adapted from Better Homes New Cook Book copyright dated 1989. It is actually their pancake recipe that ended up working out better as a waffle batter after I made all the substitutions for our dietary needs. I double or triple this recipe for Saturday morning feeds depending on how many of us are home. They are very light, but very filling.

Saturday Morning Waffles (Low-Gluten, Dairy-Free)

1 Cup White Spelt Flour
1 Tblsp Turbinado (aka Raw) Sugar
2 tsps Aluminum Free Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg (use egg substitute if you need)
1 Cup Rice Milk (or any non-dairy milk substitute)
2 Tblsp Oil (we use walnut oil)

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking pwdr and salt. In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk and oil. Add to flour mixture all at once. Stir mixture till blended but still slightly lumpy.

Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto waffle iron. For whatever reason, I find that it doesn't matter if I put just less than 1/3 cup or a full 1/3 I use the same amount with each waffle. It either doesn't reach the edge of the waffle iron and I have anemic looking waffles or this happens:
The same 1/3 cup that I put on the waffle iron...every time....
Served with Pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup.
I need to buy some from the local farms for this winter.
Some of us like to dunk.
Others of us are less...civilized...and drown our waffles.

Still, yet, some of us are a little more creative and use peach preserves made with honey.
Hubby doesn't eat Maple Syrup.

He did not feel as though his presentation was complete without
showing you the waffles with their
turkey breakfast sausage companions.
Don't you love my 70's Corelle? LOL

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crafter's Block

Ever since proclaiming I am going back to the drawing board with the Frog Pond Bag I have been in a perpetual state of "Crafter's Block".

**I want to knit gloves and mittens. Can't decide where to start (even though I have the yarn I want to use and the bag of dpn needles sitting right there with the new book I picked up last week). No ambition.

**I want to make socks....pretty socks....warm, wool socks....I have the supplies! Not happening.

**I want to remake the bag. No desire to even dig it out.

What is wrong with me? Maybe I have too much going on?

School, Homework, Real work-which is getting busy with the heating season starting, Obsessive canning every few nights (salsa's, apple butter, jams, etc), Baking pitas and granola on the weekends........the ever-present free online mahjongg game (lol), facebook, emailing....

What is getting in the way??

Ok. Nevermind. My whole darn life is getting in the way! LOL!! This must stop!

Lawd, help me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ever Do This?

I shop on Amazon alot. I always use the "take it right out of your checkbook" feature. It's worked well for me and it's super convenient. Been doing it for years.

Recently my husband made an adding error in our checkbook by $ caused a check that we wrote to Sam's Club to be "sent back". So now TransWorld something or another won't let me use my checkbook anywhere. Good times, baby!

I ordered my son's birthday present from Amazon on the 10th. His birthday is the 26th. Well, when I ordered it, I didn't know TransWorld was stopping all my checks till I received a sweet little letter in my email telling me that "we are having trouble processing your form of payment" . In other words "Hey Loser! Put some money in your checking account!!". Except that there IS money in there! Plenty! They just won't let you have any of it!

So, ok, moving right along. I don't have any credit cards of my own. Credit cards are the devil's playground in my I don't keep them. I borrowed one of my dad's....well, got another sweet little letter in my email this morning stating "we are having trouble processing your form of payment". In my mind I added, "again". And then they were kind enough to inform me that "maybe you typed a number wrong?". No, I didn't. The card just didn't have enough available credit on it. Now, I'm a double lame-o.

I am on payment source #3. Mom's credit card. I really, really hope that this one works. Otherwise, I will be forced to go to a retail shop and pay more for the same things. Grrr. The check is at home all ready for the lucking recipient to cash, so it's not like I am mooching off them. But, at times like this I feel so....what's the word....uncool? needy? dependent? Almost like back in the day when we really had no money and couldn't afford anything and had to rely on parents, etc, even though we were 'adults' (haha) and were supposed to be 'on our own' (double haha). **short side track: looking back, if we were 'on our own' and had made a conscious choice to reproduce, we should have been able to pay our bills. just sayin'.**

I hope I'm not the only who has ever found themselves in a messed up little pinch caused by an accidental miscalculation. My poor husband. He felt so bad when he saw that he had made an adding error. He's such a perfectionist.

**9-15-10** Update: All is well on the birthday gift front. It's on its way. Should be here Monday. Third time was a charm. LOL!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poopy Thoughts

I have been thrown into a tailspin of foolish, poopy thinking.

My little award that I had received out of the kindness of someone else that thought my little blog was worthy of note brought me joy. So I passed it on to a few other blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading.

One of my recipients didn't care for it. Instead of just saying no thanks, he basically made fun of it on his blog, without naming names. Now I feel like a boob. He called it a "chain letter for bloggers". And it may very well be that, but I didn't view it or pass it along as such. Anyone that knows me, knows that I do not FWD anything. Usually if it says FWD in the name...I skip it and delete it almost immediately, no matter who its from. I have to be in a special mood to open it. So, for what I thought was a neat little gift to be called a chain letter....Gahhh!

So, thank you, person I love to read, you have made me a neurotic mess over this. I feel like an idiot and wish that I could take it back. I don't think I will ever make the mistake of giving of myself like that on the internet again. I don't like feeling like I've just been made an ass of.

Pokemon Designer Extraordinaire!!

I don't believe in duplicating designs if it can be helped. So, I have come on here to share with you a Pokemon designer that has forever released me from designing another Pokemon! Her work is incredible and clean and neat. I love every one of her designs and I am actually wanting to make a few of them for my son who claims to be over Pokemon at the ripe old age of 13...but still talks about them and the new games coming out obsessively.

She does several other popular toy designs, too. She has Mario Brothers Patterns, Sonic Hedgehog Patterns and a Despicable Me Minion Pattern. She has several other patterns for various objects, as well. I encourage you to visit her site, she is an awesome Amigurumi Fiber Artist!!

Just follow this link to Wolfdreamer-Off The Hook's blog.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Labor Day Stuff

Labor Day weekend was a very full weekend for us.

Saturday we started it off by heading to Bayfield for the day. Isn't it weird how there really isn't a convenient time to plan a day trip? You just have to slam it into your schedule and not apologize for its invasion of your routine. That's what the trip to Bayfield was like for us. Not convenient, but Oh, such a necessity. This year we got to take some good friends of ours. The Bushman's. Sam had never been before. Her husband and kids had gone the year before with his parents, but this still seemed like a new experience for them. We showed them our once-a-year haunts and favorite stores. We walked the cobblestone streets down to the used book store and perused the overpriced handmade pieces of art in the various shops that line the road. We, finally, after much nagging and grumbling by children, made it to the candy shop where much fudge and salt water taffy was purchased by all. Not to mention the rock candy and various caramels.... We ate our lunch @ Maggie's, as usual, and enjoyed a quick walk through of the local farmer's market where I acquired some lovely hand dyed wool (the picture beneath the group). And walked along the pier before heading out into the country to visit an orchard we like. They have a wonderful blueberry wine that we bought a bottle of for a Christmas present. We also bought some early apples( "Wealthy's" to be exact) that I plan to turn into applesauce and can this weekend. (Find out more about Bayfield @ their official Blog, it's a lovely place.)

The wind, she was a-blowin' hard!!
Lake Superior & the Apostle Islands behind us.

Hand-dyed wool.

Sunday we hung out at my parents for lunch and then went home and did NOTHING! Hallelujah!:)
Monday dawned bright and frisky. We decided to take another day trip, this time to Wausau. We had some grocery shopping that needed to be done and we figured we would do some other shopping while we were there, as well. As we were getting read to walk out the door I grabbed my crocheted market bags and realized that I didn't have enough of one particular kind. It's nice and roomy and has a much better handle than the tall, skinny ones I made (sorry no pics of those). So, I quick grabbed a J hook and a cone of cotton and away we went. I decided to make another bag on the way to Wausau (hour and a half trip, one way). I got about 1/2 done on the way down. Here I have pics of the start:
Nearly full cone of Americana colored Peaches n Creme (can't remember the real name).

The start of my bag.


Finished her up last night.

My teeny-weeny cone of leftovers. lol.
This will probably get me one or two more dishcloths.
Now, I just need to remember to take them into the store and use them. :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Oh My Gosh!

Did I even tell you?

I'm a college student again!!


I know, can you even believe it?

I'm in a Web Development class with aspirations to get my degree in IT for Web Development and Media Design.

I would love to turn this little blog into a website with some way cooler features! Like patterns separated from blog and a place for know...way cooler than this....

Besides, it's something I can use in ministry. :-) If for nothing else, that makes it all worth it.

Thank You!

Just want to send a shout out to all my good friends (cuz you know the good ones will be honest with you regardless of how much it might hurt in the! I appreciate all of the comments on the frog pond, so far.

Please, feel free to keep commenting! I've gained some wonderful ideas and revamps for my little Frog Pond Bag. I would love to hear some more ideas!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I Need Your Opinion

I have created a bag. Except when I look at it, I don't love it.

I will explain what it represents and then I want your honest opinion. No matter how harsh or cruel or judgemental....I KID!! I KID!! Really, I want your opinion on this bag.

It is supposed to represent a little frog pond. The blue represents the water. The varied green "leaves" represent the long grasses you find in a pond and then there is a lily pad and some water lillies on the side. It is all held together with a draw string. My family says that it is adorable. I am afraid that they are just being nice.

So you, crafting community...tell me the truth and don't hold back! What do you really think of this bag?

I've Been Given An Award!!! Cool!!

Kristine @ has bestowed a most lovely award upon my blog! It is actually the very first award I've ever received, and how fun!! Thanks Kristine! So now, the program says I am to name 7 random things about myself. Gads, what haven't I told you?
1) My eyes are deep, hunter green.
2) After I sold my yarn store, it took me almost 6 months to pick up a hook or needle again.
3) The sound of thunderstorms relaxes me.
4) I love the smell of my dog right after a bath.
5) My greatest want in life is to live in the country again and have a small farm where we raise our own meat. I miss the quiet and solitude of the country.
6) I am an impulsive person. I have had to learn through many hard lessons to be more conscious and think things through.
7) I realized the other day that I am a perfectionist. While there are many things in life that I just let go, there are just as many things that I hold to an extremely high standard. Punctuality being one of them.
I am passing this award along to these people who should grab it, post it and pass it on (to steal some of Kristine's words)....
Visit these blogs and enjoy!